A teachers union in New Jersey may be covering up crimes committed by teachers against middle school students.
In the first of an upcoming series of videos to be released by Project Veritas, which specializes in undercover journalism, the president of the Hamilton Township Education Association, David Perry, explains protocols to protect teachers who have physically abused or threatened children, and states he is “here to defend even the worst people.”
When the undercover journalist asks Perry what’s done to protect a teacher who physically abuses a student, he explains how the union will lie on the teacher’s behalf. Perry states they will alter facts in reports, so that “if it was a physical punch, it wasn’t a punch; it was a shove.”
“In other words, if you threatened the kid, you didn’t threaten the kid. You said, ‘Knock it off, or else,'” Perry says.
“If [the teacher] actually said, ‘Knock it off, or I’ll kill you,’ or ‘I’ll beat the [expletive] out of you,’ or ‘I’ll hurt you,’ or ‘I’ll hurt your family,’ we don’t say that. It’s a mistake. It was out of the emotions. … We don’t even log that in.”
The undercover video has been released at a time when teachers across the United States are holding protests and walkouts to demand better pay and more education funding.
James O’Keefe, president of Project Veritas, states in the release, “The unions would argue that they are protecting the institutions to protect the children. But their actions and words are corrupt. The institutions are not the children. Teachers unions are interested in protecting themselves.”
The issues with teachers unions are well recognized. President Donald Trump states in his 2015 book “Crippled America” that teachers unions have become one of the main obstacles to school reform. “When there is a legitimate complaint against a teacher in the New York system, rather than having a quick hearing to determine the validity of the complaint, teachers are assigned to an area known as ‘the rubber room’ while they wait for their hearing,” Trump writes.
“And they wait. They sit in empty classrooms or converted closets and do nothing—but they still get paid their whole salary. Some teachers spend several years waiting.
“No wonder they call it the rubber room—the whole concept is insane. But it’s the result of the contracts that strong unions have forced on New York and other cities.”
In the undercover video, the union president states that if a teacher reports an incident with a student, he will also ensure the teacher’s report is backdated to the day after the incident took place. He notes this covers for the teacher, “because he came in and reported it right away and that he was afraid … but here’s what happened. Everything else is [expletive].”
“I’m gonna let you know right now he came in the day after. Even though he didn’t, I would say he did. And the only record that this is, it stays here,” he says.
In addition to altering reports, Perry says he would also advise the teacher on how to maintain the falsehood, noting the teacher “needs to not tell anybody a thing—this has gotta be down the river.”
He also notes that in such cases, the longer it takes a student to report an incident involving a teacher, the better it is for the union. “The longer we wait, the longer there’s no, there’s no camera,” Perry says. “And we got a [school] break coming up. That’s what’s really nice because nobody’s gonna be looking.”
“And if this kid can’t remember a date, I’m not giving them a date,” Perry says. “You know how many cases I’ve won on that?”
The union president notes he has successfully gotten teachers in the union off the hook in the past, noting one teacher who used drugs and stole. He states, “Five times she was fired, and I got her job back five times.”
Project Veritas notes that by failing to report incidents such as these involving teachers and students, Perry may have broken the law. It cites a press release that says that according to New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families, “in New Jersey, any person having reasonable cause to believe a child has been subjected to abuse or acts of abuse should immediately report this information.”
A representative from the Hamilton Township Education Association was reached by phone and confirmed they knew of the recording, but declined to comment further.